“So Elisha left him [Elijah] and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.” (I Kings 19:21, NIV)
Talk about burning bridges — with style!
As disciples of Jesus, when we are committed to Him, nothing/no one else matters; but it doesn’t give us license to be disrespectful or ungracious to others.
When Elisha received from God the call to become Elijah’s successor, Elisha asked for permission from Elijah to properly bid farewell to his mother and father (verse 20). That was the respectful thing to do.
Elisha then sacrificed the implements of his former life (the plowing equipment and the oxen) and from them hosted a huge “barbecue” for his neighbors. That was the gracious thing to do.
We may not be able to choose our “calling,” but we are able to choose how we depart. Let us strive to be respectful and gracious in all that we do. – Luther